About six hours after a power failure began at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, officials said a fire likely caused the outage.
Mayor Kasim Reed has tweeted: Power at Concourse F is back on. If you are in another concourse, please remain there. We have an additional update on when full power will be restored from.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
But while a fire caused extensive damage to an underground electrical facility, the cause is still not confirmed, officials with Georgia Power told The AJC.
Georgia Power said it expects to have electricity restored by midnight to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.
It’s not clear how flyers will be able to get to their destinations on Monday.
UPDATE @ 6:25 p.m.
Five hours after a power outage began at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the scene was the same: a swirling mass of people in an aimless pattern trying to get cellphone signals in a darkening airport.
All flights were canceled and baggage was being held in a secure area for future pickup at the airport, Rick Crotts, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor who was stuck on a plane for hours, said.
Delta Air Lines, which has its headquarters at the airport, said more than 450 flights were canceled, which affected flyers in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus.
Canceled flights at the Dayton International Airport included Delta Air Lines Flight 2337, supposed to leave at 6:33 p.m. and Delta Flight 1161, scheduled to depart at 2:18 p.m. for Atlanta, as well as Delta Flight 2337 from Atlanta to Dayton, scheduled to arrive at 5:53 p.m. according to the airport's Flight Tracker.
At the John Glenn Columbus International Airport, three flights headed to Atlanta were canceled, including Delta Flights 758 and Southwest Flight 2363, both leaving at 5:15 p.m.; and Delta Flight 1646 that was scheduled to leave at 7:25 p.m. Delta Flight 1645 from Atlanta, scheduled to arrive in Columbus at 8:36 p.m., was canceled.
Three Delta flights to or from Atlanta were canceled at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Southwest Airlines reported about 70 Atlanta departures were canceled, the Associated Press reported.
In Georgia, five hours after the airport power outage began, Atlanta police arrived to help.
“We are aware of the situation and are assisting with crowd control and helping to manage traffic around the airport,” police spokeswoman Officer Lisa Bender told the AJC.
In Atlanta, passengers sat stranded in parked planes on the tarmac as officials offered few updates and no insight into the cause of the outage.
UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport announced the FAA has ordered all flights grounded that were headed to Atlanta. Some flights are being diverted.
Two Dayton flights to Atlanta are delayed and one inbound flight from Atlanta is delayed. Click here to track flights.
There also are three flights to Atlanta that are delayed at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
In Columbus, four arrivals from Atlanta are delayed. Also, three departures to Atlanta are delayed and one is canceled.
1/2 The #FAA has put in a ground stop for flights headed to @ATLairport due to a power outage affecting the airport terminals. The FAA Tower can operate normally, however, departures are delayed because airport equipment in the terminals is not working.
Flyers should check the official FAA website for air traffic control updates.
Rick Crotts, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor aboard a flight that had arrived at the airport around the time of the power failure, is among passengers still waiting aboard their flights to reach a gate.
Crotts' flight has been waiting for more than an hour, and the pilot reported that several planes are positioned before them for passengers to disembark.
Crotts said his Delta Air Lines pilot told passengers a construction crew cut a power line, causing the outage, but an airport spokesman, Andy Gobeil, said officials still weren’t sure.